Monday, October 29, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland.....

The snow hit! Let me tell you, I didn't miss it ha. It started snowing earlier in the week but none of it really stuck because it wasn't cold enough, but then it sunk down to like -6 C and has been there ever since. So the snow stuck all yesterday and this morning! Our little Chevy Cruze doesn't do so well in the snow either. I drive like a grandma now! Speaking of which, I started driving again. But not by choice. Elder Penrod's exed and can't drive, so once again I'm the designated driver for the next 3 months! Haha I'll never get away from it, but that's okay it's not bad.

This week was sweet! We drove up to St. Paul on Friday to visit the elders up there. Their area is SLOW haha I don't envy them at all. Elder Morley was my zone leader for a long time when I was in Spruce and again when I was in Red Deer so it was good to see him again. It was a 2 hour drive and it seemed way longer! Driving in Alberta is so boring haha it's so flat! Driving the 5 hours to Ft. Macmurray is gonna kill me!

The temple dedication was yesterday and it was soo sweet! We went to the first session, and so they showed the cornerstone ceremony. President Monson is a funny funny guy I just enjoyed watching him be normal. Elder Ballard came with him and talked a lot about his time in Canada as a mission president, and Elder Christenson and Elder Walker of the Seventy came too. They're both from Alberta! They did 3 sessions and the members that went to the last session said that by the end President Monson looked exhausted haha poor guy.

Our investigator Maggie is doing really well! She's being baptized on Sunday, so she's way excited. We were supposed to have it on Saturday but we have ZLC that day so we pushed it back to Sunday.We went over and taught her tithing yesterday with her husband who's a member and it went really well. They're concerned about paying it right now because they're in a tight spot for money. I guess they have a lot of unpaid debts in China still, and so that's where their focus is. But we read 1 Nephi 3:7 with them and explained that God prepares a way for people to keep the commandments He gives us. After awhile they agreed to give it a try and put their trust in the Lord and see if He doesn't bless them like Malachi talks about. She's solid though!

Ray, our other investigator is so solid. I love that guy and I've only known him for a week. He's in his 60's and has a big problem with smoking, but he really wants to obey God and be baptized, he just can't because of smoking. So we're working with him on the Stop Smoking Program. He'll come around eventually, it'll just take awhile.

We called a former investigator last week and set up an appointment with him, his name's Rick. We met with him on Wednesday and jus talked with him about his religious background. He studies a lot of history and so he's pretty interested in the Book of Mormon and the origin of the Indians, etc. His teaching record didnt' say why he was dropped though so we'll see what happens! Haha

Hey Mom I called Animas and told them about my faulty buttons on my pump, and they're sending me a brand new one! How sweet is that? They say it'll be here on Thursday :) A new pump and meter remote in less than a month! I'm spoiled.

Hey tell Ethan Happy Late Birthday for me! I miss that little guy. It sounds like you had fun talking with everyone that's sweet :)

That's sweet that you're having the missionaries over on Halloween! It does my heart good to hear that! Do they have to be back in by 6pm too? We do it sucks haha. Our meal calendar is barren right now! I don't know what it is with zone leader areas, but everyone I've seen has such a hard time getting dinners it's garbage!

Hey I went on exchanges with the Assistants this week! It was way sweet. We ate dinner at this young couple's house, and he served his mission in Portland like a year and a half ago! His name was Elder Gregson if anyone knew him.....anyways we talked a lot about Oregon it was sweet! If I didn't live in Oregon,I would have loved that mission!

Hey tell Grandma that I do need new shirts, but I need new shoes too...but I don't want her to send me something and have it not fit or something. So if you wanna just send me the money and I can buy them, whatever works for you. I can't really think of anything else I NEED. Just surprise me :)

Alright I'm out of things to ramble have a good week!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 22, 2012

Welcome back to Edmonton!

Hey family,

This week has been sweet! Haha sorry if I wasn't clear, but I got transferred to the Londonderry Ward, which is on the north end of Edmonton. I wrote Edmonton North District in my last email, but it's the Edmonton North Zone haha. Sorry for the confusion. Spruce Grove is in our zone, but no I'm not in Spruce Grove again. I wish :) My companion is Elder Penrod and we probably get along too well haha if you can imagine. I was in the MTC with him and we've been close our whole missions so it's been sweet serving with him! We have a lot of fun.

Londonderry is sweet! The ward is awesome and they love the missionaries! I love members that love me. Haha. The north side of Edmonton is nothing like the south end was. There are way more black people, whereas Southwood had a bunch of East-Indians. It's a huge area too, we cover part of downtown, which is a complete gong show haha. I think I prefer the smaller-city scene, but it's still a lot of fun. We exchange with all of the district leaders throughout the transfer, which is actually pretty sweet because we go up to Fort McMurray, 5 hours north, for two days, then this Friday we're going to St. Paul which is about 2 hours to the northeast, for two days. They're both too far away to drive there and back in one day so we just go up and blitz the area with them. I'm way psyched to go up that far! I'm also going back to Spruce next week :) We're going on exchanges with the Assistants tomorrow and I'll be with Elder Paulson, who was my zone leader in Red Deer before he went up the ladder :) It'll be fun I love exchanges. I always feel like I learn something, regardless of who I'm with.

I feel like we're always busy though! There's so much random stuff that we have to do. But it's good. Plus our ward mission leader is this super-analytical business man so he makes us write out what we teach investigators, what we talk about before and after the lesson, how they respond, etc. He's pretty effective, but it's time-consuming! Our Pdays apparently take forever too because we have to drive into the office, grab mail, report numbers, etc.

We have investigators! Ahh you have no idea how nice it is haha it's been too long. We're teaching a girl named Maggie, she's from China and came here about 7 months ago. She had no concept of who God was, and in the month and a half that she's been taught, she's developed a super strong faith in Christ it's awesome. She's on date for November 3rd and is doing really well. We have other investigators, but we haven't been able to meet with them since I've been here.

Yeah the Calgary Temple Dedication is this Sunday! I'm so excited. They're broadcasting it all around Alberta. Pretty exciting!

Hey so I requested a transcript from Aloha and told them to send it up here if they could, but if not to just send it home. When it gets there can you just ship it up here? I need it to fill out some stuff on the application.

Mom you had poutine that's sweet! To tell you the truth I'm not the biggest fan of it but I won't turn it down :) Your trip sounds legit! I want to go to all of the church history stuff some day. It would be a sweet mission to serve!

Anyways that's all for this week. You're all the best!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 15, 2012

Transferred Again!

Hey there!

Dang I didn't even realize my letter didn't send! I wrote one out, then put it in the drafts like I usually do. I send it at the end just in case I remember something, but I forgot last week. My bad! So I'll send both :)

So transfer calls were today, and I was fully expecting to hear that Elder Cone would be leaving. He's been here for 6 months and that's pretty good for areas around here. But with all the new missionaries coming out (60 from September until Christmas), President had to make a lot of unexpected changes. There are so many crazy things happening and tons of new areas opening. He called me as Zone Leader in the Edmonton North District, which is where Spruce Grove is. Which means I get to go back to Spruce Grove on exchanges. YA DIGG! I'm so excited haha. My new companion is Elder Penrod, who is also a guy I was in the MTC with. I'm wayy psyched because he's probably my best friend out here on the mission! This about to be a sweet transfer. Elder Cone is staying here and they're combining our area with 3rd ward, so they'll be in a trio. I'm pretty jealous! He's also the new DL out here and he's pretty nervous haha he's been asking questions and stuff all morning!

Speaking of trios, we've had Elder Kember with us since Tuesday (see last weeks letter). It's been way fun because he's also one of my best friends out here. It's been a sweet week! We've just had a ton of fun and we've worked pretty hard. Trios are of the devil though haha it's so distracting. We've just laughed for a week it's been so fun. They've been trying to keep the fact that Elder Paulson is the new AP a secret, because missionaries spend too much time speculating haha President's sick of it. Once week 6 rolls around everyone's texting everyone to see who went up. Anyways so we had a Zone Training Meeting on Thursday and the ZL's give the training. Butttt Elder Paulson was already gone by then. So in order to cut down on the spec (speculating), the AP's drove down to Red Deer, dropped him off for the morning, then drove back down to pick him up again haha so nobody knew about it but us :) We had to keep it on the down low the whole week it was hard.

We had a bunch of referrals this week it was sweet. We're hoping this week to have like 3 new investigators. I'm glad Elder Cone has something to work with now! We got another Church Headquarters referral on Thursday and she wanted to come to church and take the lessons, we were super excited! But then we called on Saturday and told her we had a ride for her, and she told us that she couldn't come because she couldn't leave her client (she's a caregiver) for 3 hours. But we set up a lesson for Thursday, so they're going to ask her if she can just come to Sacrament at least. Things are starting to pick up! Woo!

The Calgary Temple Dedication is on October 28th we're way psyched! They're planning on broadcasting it to all of the Stake Centers in Alberta so we're so excited! President Monson's coming up to dedicate it, and we're hoping he'll visit our mission :) :) :) probably not, but a guy can hope right?

Hey momma I got the package on Saturday we're good! Thanks for sending it up so quick, I really appreciate it. That's a TON of insulin haha I'll be good for a few months easy. You're awesome :)

Hey by the way thanks for the yellow tie in that last package! It's sooo sweet I'm wearing it right now :)

Man it sounds like you guys are having a party in Utah and New York! That race sounded sweet haha. Anyways, have yourselves a great week and I'll talk to ya'll later!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Happy Thanksgiving!

What up family!

This week has been pretty fun! Thanksgiving was yesterday, but it didn't feel like Thanksgiving haha. Holidays on the mission are bogus! I can't wait until I can feel the holidays coming again. But anyways, so yesterday was also Pday, so we did our usual thing, minus emailing. Libraries were closed yesterday. We went to the church, played sports for awhile, then we went out to dinner with 3rd ward and the 4 branch sister missionaries. It was pretty fun but I wish we would've had a dinner, ours cancelled. It's all good though! We were told that we couldn't do any proselyting after 6pm, and that if we didn't have anything to do, we could have a quiet evening in our apartment with other missionaries. So we got together with the 3rd ward elders after dinner and just hung around until 9. It wasn't exactly exciting haha I would've rather been out doing something.

So last night as we were about to hit the lights for the night, the Assistants called us and told us that Elder Paulson, one of our zone leaders, is the new assistant, and so they have them go into the office a week early to learn the ropes, which meant that his companion, Elder Kember, would be in a trio with us! So this morning we went and picked him up it's been way fun. Elder Kember was in Barrhead when I was in Spruce Grove and so we know each other really well. I'm excited to for this week! We're splitting time between the two areas and so we have to cancel a lot of appointments and such but no big deal!

General Conference was LEGIT! There were so many good talks. I especially liked Uchtdorf's first talk on Saturday morning about taking advantage of the time we've got. It was much needed. Can you guys believe that announcement about the missionary age!? We're way excited missionary work is gonna take off! We were sitting in a group of missionaries and the spirit was way strong when he announced it. So psyched!

The work is still slow, but we're still working hard. Haha remember that Church HQ referral from last week? It's a funny story. We went to contact him, and when we knocked on the door this old Spanish lady answered and told us Stephen didn't live we left confused. We got in the car and called him, and he told us he was home, and that he was in the basement suite. So we walked around the back and knocked on the basement suite, and the old lady answered again hahahaha she probably thought we were messing around with her. So we explained the situation to her and she told us that nobody by that name lived there, and shut the door haha. So we left pretty confused again, and called Stephen. He then told us he lived at a different address, and so we wen to THAT one haha. We knocked his door, he let us in, and we all sat down at started talking a little bit about the weather (it was cold out). Finally we started talking about how he referred himself on Haha and he said "I'm actually a member, I just wanted a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon." Hahahaha. We were pretty disappointed actually but we got a good little member lesson out of it! So that was our valuable referral. The Lord has a sense of humor :)

Hey Mom i went to the doctor this week and got the insulin, and yeah sorry about the whole confusion with Sister Campbell. I think we've figured it out though. Thanks for all you do trying to figure it all out, I appreciate it a lot :) Hopefully the package comes soon though, I used my last cartridge last night haha. I have faith!

We're back in suits......this sucks hahah I hate suits! But thankfully this is the last time I'll put them on! It's weird to think that next October Conference, I'll be watching it from home! Especially since I feel like I was just in the MTC watching it. Missions go way too quick.

So we're pretty sure Elder Cone will get transferred next week. He's been here for 6 months now and we've been together for 3. He called a bunch of members trying to see them one last time, and he told all of them he's leaving for sure haha. I told him I'd laugh if he stays.

Alright that's all I've got this week. I miss you all!

Love you guys,

Elder Read

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy October!


What a week! Despite the fact that is was super busy, I feel like it went suuppperr slow. We had Interviews with President on Tuesday and those went really well! It was good to talk to him about our area and what's going on down here. After interviews we had dinner at the stake center, provided by the stake, then we had a stake meeting with all of the bishops, ward mission leaders, ward missionaries, full time missionaries, President Campbell, and the stake presidency. It was way good! They talked about ward mission plans, working with full time missionaries, etc. Elder Cone and I were supposed to give a presentaion but they ran out of time. Darn.. :) The missionaries from Rocky Mountain House stayed with us and we partied all night! The next day we had Zone Conference it was way sweet! We just had it here in Red Deer at the Stake Center since it was only our zone. The assistants drove down as well, so we had some good trainings, and it was good to see all the missionaries in the boonies. We got out at about 4:30 it was long!

The work is still dead haha. But we're confident we'll see improvement! We had a ward fast yesterday it was awesome. Also, last night we had a fireside with Richard and Linda Eyre. Have you guys heard of them? Apparently they're these best-selling LDS authors and they write books on parenting and interesting stuff like that! So they flew in and did a fireside at the local Sheraton Hotel here and they invited all of Red Deer. There was actually a really good turn out, and they did it on their book "The Entitlement Trap." So hopefully people brought their friends and we'll see success from that!

We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday it was sweet! Elder Paulson and I were in their area, and we went and contacted this referral in the BUSH. They were these old people on a farm and they have a house in the middle of nowhere, built of complete wood, and it's lit inside by a single lightbulb. It reminded me of the Jenkin's house haha except this house was MESSY. Anyways so they weren't interested but we talked for awhile then left. The next morning while we were studying, the guy (Norm) called and asked us to come help gather bales of hay! So we went and rode in the back of his truck and stacked square bales all morning it was exhausting but pretty fun actually. We stacked it like 4 high and then rode on top the whole way back to the house where we stacked them. Then they fed us lunch it was sweet!

We had Brother Lahoda, a less active we've been working with, come to church again yesterday and he got up and bore his testimony in Sacrament! It was sweet. He's come a long way since we first met him.

Hey super random but as I'm writing this, we just got a text from Church Headquarters about a referral from haha so we're gonna go contact that after this. We'll let ya know how that goes :)

It's supposed to snow this week. Dang it. We get up in the morning to go play ball at the church, and it's 10 degrees outside and I freeze! I'm gonna die when it goes sub-zero.

Anyways, that's all I've got for you this week. Glad to hear you're all doing well! Tell Craig I love and miss him :)

Love you guys,

Elder Read